Alabama opossum creates new traditions

Every February 2 we celebrate the nearly two-century-long tradition of Groundhog’s Day. Many tune in to watch the iconic Punxsutawney Phil, who announces the future weather forecast based on his shadow.

 In recent years, a new animal has hit the market to be his competitor. This North American marsupial can have special qualities yet seems like an odd choice to take on this role.  

Sand Mountain Sam, an opossum who lives in Sardis City, Alabama, has been on a roll with accurate predictions of the switching of seasons. 

Many locals and tourists have gathered around annually for the past 29 years, with people holding signs that state, “Punxsutawney Who?” and “Marry Me Sam” to show their support.

In Sam’s 29-year career, she has only had one false prediction on the record. She has more accuracy than Phil, with 39 percent of his predictions being found to be true.

This year she predicted an early spring and temperatures have fluctuated for the past three weeks from the mid-30s to mid-70s. 

Cloudy weather will continue for the month of February, with occasional predictions of rainy weather appearing near the 28th. Today will be the last day of rainfall with a high of 69 degrees and a low of 31. Saturday will bring more sunny weather but temperatures will drop and have a high in the mid-50s and a low of 34 degrees. Temperatures will again increase to the low 80s and the cloudy weather will continue yet again. 

Spring will bring in lots of rain due to the change in air temperatures and air density. As the weather gets warmer, the air in the atmosphere can hold more moisture.

This air is dense and will increase the amount of rainfall since the air cannot rise into the upper atmosphere.

Although Sand Mountain Sam is fairly new to the industry, she is definitely making her mark and getting people talking. Make sure to tune in to the next few weeks and see if Sam’s streak of winning will continue.